[continued from previous post]
I next saw Ron four years after Ron-Kon, when we were planning a get together for chasinvictoria’s own 50th birthday in 2012. My wife put the call out and Ron and Dorothy made the rare trip to the East Coast to the rendezvous in Hotlanta. While Mr. Ware was there, a few of the people invited didn’t know Ron and they met him there for the first time. We had rented a home walking distance from Little Five Points as party central so much time was spent trolling for records. We spent pretty much a whole day going from store to store. Ron was shopping in virgin territory. I don’t know if he had ever been East to shop before! The in depth story of the July, 2012 shopping trip [complete with several pix of Ron crate digging – purple shirt] can be found here. Once again, his girlfriend Dorothy accompanied him and after over a dozen years in Ron’s company, she must have been pretty used to all of the bin diving. Fortunately, Ron liked more than just records. Craft beer, gardens, and birdwatching were also pursuits he enjoyed, so we took in the Atlanta Arboretum on another day. It was relaxing to enjoy such an oasis in a city as large as Atlanta and man does not live by crate digging alone.
Ron and Dorothy traveled a lot, to foreign countries like Japan, Singapore, Toronto as well as many cities along the Western Seaboard. After such trips, Ron would prepare his infamous “lists.” These usually arrived every weekend in the email. Ron would provide meticulous lists of his complete purchases that day or weekend and
some many of these “day lists” were as long as my largest month-long purchase lists! Here is a representative one from earlier this year, included to give you the idea of the scope of Ron’s musical interests.
- AMON DUUL II – LIVE IN LONDON, SPV DE CD Live
- AVIATOR – LAY DOWN YOUR WEARY TUNE, HARVEST UK 7”
- BAILEY, DEREK / PAT METHENY etc. – SIGN OF FOUR, KNITTING FACTORY US 3CD set
- BAND THE / BOB DYLAN – MOST LIKELY YOU GO YOUR WAY, ASYLUM US 7”
- BEATLES, THE – YELLOW SUBMARINE (PS), ODEON DE 7” W/PS
- BECK, JEFF – LOVE IS BLUE (PS), SUNDAZED US 7” W/PS re-issue, blue
- BECK, JEFF – TALLY MAN (PS), SUNDAZED US 7” W/PS re-issue, yellow
- BURROUGHS, WILLIAM S. / GUS VAN SANT – MILLIONS OF IMAGES (PS), SOL US 7” W/PS
- BYRDS, THE – I’LL FEEL A WHOLE LOT BETTER (PS), SUNDAZED US 7” W/PS re-issue, blue
- BYRDS, THE – TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGIN’ (PS), SUNDAZED US 7” W/PS re-issue, red
- CHANCE, JAMES – SAX EDUCATION, TIGER STYLE NL 2CD
- CHICAGO – QUESTIONS 67 AND 68 (English / Japanese), COLUMBIA US 7” promo
- DAVIS, MILES – KIND OF BLUE, SONY JPN CD kami sleeve
- DAVIS, MILES – NEW RHUMBA / SLOW SAMBA, COLUMBIA US 7” promo
- DEREK AND THE DOMINOS (Eric Clapton) – LIVE AT THE FILLMORE, POLYDOR
- US 2CD Live
- DOORS, THE – ROADHOUSE BLUES (Live) (PS), ELEKTRA EU 7” W/PS re-issue, white
- DYLAN, BOB – ON A NIGHT LIKE THIS, ASYLUM US 7”
- EDWARDS, JONATHAN – SUNSHINE, CAPRICORN US 7” promo
- FOXX, JOHN / LOUIS GORDON – CRASH AND BURN, METAMATIC UK CD
- FOXX, JOHN / LOUIS GORDON – FROM TRASH , METAMATIC UK CD
- FREBERG, STAN – QUEST FOR BRIDEY HAMMERSCHLAUGEN, CAPITOL US 7”
- GAINSBOURG, CHARLOTTE – HEAVEN CAN WAIT / IRM, ELEKTRA US 7” W/PS
- HANCOCK, HERBIE – CHAMELEON, COLUMBIA US 7” promo
- HELDON – BAADER-MEINHOF BLUES (PS) SOUFFLE CONTINU FR 7” W/PS re-issue, red
- HELDON – PERSPECTIVES (PS), SOUFFLE CONTINU FR 7” W/PS re-issue, orange
- JACKSON, JOE – I’M THE MAN (PS), A&M UK 7” W/PS
- JANSCH, BERT – BLACK BIRDS OF BRITTANY (PS), EARTH UK 7” W/PS re-issue
- JONES, SPIKE – NUTCRACKER SUITE, THE (EP), RCA US 7” W/PS
- LEVEL 42 – LIVE AT WEMBLEY, IMAGO EU CD Live
- LOBOS, LOS – WILL THE WOLF SURVIVE? (10″), SLASH UK 10″ W/PS
- MANO NEGRA – LO MEJOR DE LA MANO NEGRA, EMI FR 2CD collection
- MITCHUM, ROBERT – THAT MAN RIGHT THERE, MONUMENT US 7”
- NAUSEEF, MARK etc. – ALBERT, LEO EU CD
- POWELL, COZY – DANCE WITH THE DEVIL, CHRYSALIS US 7”
- RAINBOW – CAN’T HAPPEN HERE (PS), POLYDOR JPN 7” W/PS
- SANTANA – SAMBA PA TI (PS) Live, CBS / SONY JPN 7” W/PS “Lotus” 45!
- SHERMAN, ALLAN – LIVE!! (HOPING YOU ARE THE SAME), WARNER US 7” promo
- SPRINGFIELD, DUSTY – YOU DON’T HAVE TO SAY YOU LOVE ME (PS), PHILIPS JPN 7” W/PS
- STYLISTICS, THE – ROCKIN’ ROLL BABY (PS), AVCO JPN 7” W/PS
- THREE DOG NIGHT – ONE / CHEST FEVER, DUNHILL US 7”
- U-ROY – LOVE TRIO IN DUB, NUBLU US CD
- V.A. – GREENSLEEVES SAMPLER, GREENSLEEVES EU CD compilation
- V.A – PRIME CUTS (10″), RSO 10″ W/PS compilation
- WHITE, BARRY – CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF YOUR LOVE, BABE (PS), PHILIPS DE 7” W/PS
- WHITE, BARRY – I’LL DO ANYTHING YOU WANT ME TO (PS), PHILIPS DE 7” W/PS
- WHITE, BARRY – LET THE MUSIC PLAY (PS), 20TH CENTURY DE 7” W/PS
- WHITE, BARRY – WHAT AM I GONNA DO WITH YOU (PS), PHILIPS DE 7” W/PS
- WHITE, BARRY – YOU’RE THE FIRST, THE LAST, MY EVERYTHING (PS), PHILIPS DE 7” W/PS
- WISHBONE ASH – COME ON (PS), MCA UK 7” W/PS
- WOBBLE, JAH / BILL LASWELL – RADIOAXIOM – A DUB TRANSMISSION, AXIOM US CD
- XTC – ALL YOU PRETTY GIRLS (PS), VIRGIN DE 7” W/PS
- YELLO – YELLO BY YELLO, POLYDOR EU 3CD
- YELLO –YELLO BY YELLO (DVD), POLYDOR EU DVD
That is as valid a portrait of Ron Kane as any image could possibly convey.
We next encountered Ron in 2014. My wife and I made a rare trip out West when my friend Tom was working for a time in San Jose and with his frequent commuting between there and his home in North Carolina, he had flight miles to gift us the airline flight. How could we say no? We flew in to Reno where my sister-in-law lives. We stayed there a few days and drove to San Francisco to spend a few days with Elisa + Tom on the left coast for a change. Ron caught wind of this and drove up for a few days since he had met Elisa + Tom in Atlanta 2012 and knew them too. By then he had split up with Dorothy after over 15 years together and the lack of Dorothy was a minus. Not only was she a great person, but she probably moderated Ron’s peccadilloes. He could have quite a sharp tongue on him.
We met Ron at the Amoeba in Haight Street and we later visited Berkeley, and Viks Chaat and Market. Ron was happy to take us on a walking tour of the district; taking in eclectic shops and the occasional bar. Ron used no money at the Amoeba stores. Only boxes of trade-in material and credit slips. I’m not a drinking man, but Ron did know of a bar with a peerless vibe that was conducive to my enjoyment without liquid depressants entering into it. I don’t drink but I can appreciate a place for the right bar.
The next few days, Ron went back home and my wife and I made our way down the coastline to Long Beach, where Ron lived. I had been curious to see that legendary collection [Mr. Ware had visited and sent back tales decades earlier] and was definitely interested in observing Ron in his native environment. That could not have prepared me for a reasonably large home filled to the brim with records. Records on racks. Records on floors, Records on beds. Records in bathrooms! It was too much. Between a house full of 40+ years of clutter and Ron’s record hoarding tendencies, it was all we could do to get out of there for some fresh air.
We secured alternate lodgings while in Long Beach.
The next day, we went to the mother of all Amoeba Stores. Amoeba Hollywood, the jewel in the Amoeba crown. The ratio of wheat to chaff there was even higher than the first two stores had been, and they weren’t chopped liver. I had saved money all that year for this trip, barely buying music while I socked away a hefty chuck of change for these rare California visits. The purchase list I compiled for the month of October 2014 could have given Ron himself a run for his money. It had been interesting to see California; the home of my birth yet unseen for over 40 years. It had also been eye-opening seeing Ron at home.
While there, he had a rare personal conversation with us about his late brother who introduced young Ron to so many music acts and even the liberating notion of imported records from foreign countries that were better. Superior, to what one could buy in the five and dime here. Ron was concerned with the manner in which his brother had died several years earlier. It seemed like he described his brother undergoing a series of small strokes before finally dying when no one recognized what was happening. Ron seemed to be quite haunted by his brother’s passing. This was the only conversation about his personal life that Ron ever had with us. 99.95% of the time he topic was music, please. Little did I know at the time that I would have scant opportunities to connect with Ron on a deeper level after this.
Next: …The Last Time I Saw Ron…
A favorite moment from the Atlanta record store jaunts – at fourteen my son Kellan was finally old enough to hang comfortably with the guys. He was starting out and was enjoying bargain bin vinyl in particular. So he had a little stack of fairly mainstream records and of course Ron comes over to “inspect” his pile. He went through everything with a smile and seemed to “approve” it all until the last record which was a hits collection by 38 Special. Ron pauses and says ” well, if you’re looking for shit rock you can’t go wrong here”! Kellan thought that was the funniest thing ever and we still use that phrase quite often.
Mr. Ware – Good lord, that’s priceless! I missed that little interchange as I was probably busy crate digging at the time. It was definitely interesting that Kellen’s maturing interests certainly marked him as “one of the pack.” It felt like that chasinvictoria 50th birthday jaunt was Kellen’s equivalent of a bar mitzvah!
This is a nice tribute to your friend. The person who owned the record store that I’ve been going to for nearly 40 years just died. Here’s his obit: http://obituaries.salemnews.com/obituary/ross-kolhonen-1946-2017-1009223571
diskojoe – What a legacy of record shopping that represents! I could hardly name a store that I shopped for more than a dozen years. There’s nothing like forming bonds with a great seller. I miss those days when I could just go and hang out at Crunchy Armadillo Records and chat with the owner about anything.